Russia Monitor: Political Consequences Are Not Enough. Impeachment Is Necessary

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/6/19) Dear Fellow Readers, I will begin by acknowledging my frustration with former special counsel Robert Mueller. If impeachment is a process, the hand-off of Mueller’s report to Congress has many problems. The gap between what is reported and the actions that can be taken directly from the report is huge. Trump is investigated and found to be guilty and the result of Mueller’s report is ‘exoneration’. Horrible. This gap was avoidable and must be ‘fixed’. It is worth a review of the challenges and possible remedies. Impeachment is not one ‘thing’, it’s…


Coming To Grips With The Reality Of Who Trump Really Is

New Economic Thinking (10/4/16) The media has failed ask basic questions about the economic thinking — and business record — of Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, says Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist David Cay Johnston, author of The Making of Donald Trump. The economic vision that’s being offered on the campaign trail has been crafted with Trump’s peerless salesmanship. Johnston’s book relies on extensive reporting of interviews, public statements, court records and financial statements to build an argument that Trump’s vision is based on what he believes voters want to hear, but has little relationship to his own — or America’s — reality….


Will Black Voters Still Love Biden When They Remember Who He Was?

Uncle Joe says the darndest (and/or most racially insensitive) things. By  Eric Levitz New York (3/12/19) Joe Biden once called state-mandated school integration “the most racist concept you can come up with,” and Barack Obama “the first sort of mainstream African American who is articulate and bright and clean.” He was a staunch opponent of “forced busing” in the 1970s, and leading crusader for mass incarceration throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s. Uncle Joe has described African-American felons as “predators” too sociopathic to rehabilitate — and white supremacist senators as his friends. And, as of this writing, a plurality of black Democrats want him to be their…


Precious American Farmland Is Increasingly Foreign Owned

By Renee Wilde All Things Considered / NPR (5/27/19) American soil. Those are two words that are commonly used to stir up patriotic feelings. They are also words that can’t be be taken for granted, because today nearly 30 million acres of U.S. farmland are held by foreign investors. That number has doubled in the past two decades, which is raising alarm bells in farming communities. When the stock market tanked during the last recession, foreign investors began buying up big swaths of U.S. farmland. And because there are no federal restrictions on the amount of land that can be…


Notably Quotable: Wake Up And…

“Wake up & smell the covfefe!!!” — Protest sign at anti-Trump London protest. ***** “You said that your investigation’s work ‘speaks for itself.’ It doesn’t.” — Robert De Niro, “Robert De Niro’s Open Letter To Robert Mueller: ‘Leave Your Comfort Zone’ And Testify” ***** “Snit Hits The Fan” — New York Daily News headline over latest Trump breakdown. ***** “The entire foreign policy is based on a single unstable individual’s reaction to perceptions of slights or flattery. If someone says something nice about him, they are our friend; if they say something unkind, if they don’t kiss the ring, they…


Robert Mueller’s Statement Challenges House Dems To Do Their Duty, But Are They Up To It?

“I understand what you guys are doing with these bills, and that’s great. But you can’t fix the roof if the house is on fire. So it’s not acceptable that we’re ignoring this.” — The Hill, Democrats Face Voters Clamoring For Impeachment ***** Republicans view Democrats as the political party that’s scared of its own shadow. Republicans aren’t preoccupied with decency or morality, they just want to win. By Kurt Bardella NBC Think (5/29/19) Last November, the American people overwhelmingly elected a new majority in the House of Representatives, giving Democrats the power to impeach President Donald J. Trump — if it was warranted. But…


Former Republican Federal Prosecutors Speak Out & Call For Action Against Trump’s Obstruction Of Justice

  Republicans for the Rule of Law (5/30/19) This testimonial video was published by Republicans for the Rule of Law and Protect Democracy. Former Republican federal prosecutors discuss how if President Trump were anyone else, he would have been charged with obstruction of justice based off the information released in the Mueller Report. Featured in the video are Donald Ayer, Paul Rosenzweig, and Jeffrey Harris. Donald served as the Deputy Attorney General under President HW Bush, Paul was Senior Counsel to Special Counsel Ken Starr and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security under President Bush, and Jeffrey served as Deputy…


‘Ask For Jane” — These Courageous Women Provided Illegal Abortions Before Roe v. Wade. Will Activists Have To Go Underground Again?

“Liberty will not descend to a people; a people must raise themselves to Liberty.” — Emma Goldman Democracy Now! (5/31/19) “Ask for Jane.” Those were the magic words that provided thousands of women access to safe abortions before the landmark Roe v. Wade ruling in 1973 that guaranteed the constitutional right to abortion. With abortion services outlawed in most of the country, women often had to risk their own lives in order to terminate pregnancy. So, in 1969, a group of women in Chicago decided to take matters into their own hands and set up a hotline, offering counseling and…


Over 200 Allegations Of Abuse Of Migrant Children; Only 1 Case Of Homeland Security Disciplining Someone

Children reported being punched, shocked with Tasers, and denied food and medicine. Many described being bludgeoned with flashlights. By A.C. Thompson ProPublica (5/31/19) From 2009 to 2014, at least 214 complaints were filed against federal agents for abusing or mistreating migrant children. According to the Department of Homeland Security’s records, only one employee was disciplined as a result of a complaint. The department’s records, which have alarmed advocates for migrants given the more aggressive approach to the treatment of minors at the border under the current administration, emerged as part of a federal lawsuit seeking the release of the names…


The Democratic Party Old Guard’s War Against Its Very Own Base

  By Tory Gavito & Sean Mcelwee GQ (5/30/19) At a critical juncture before the 2020 elections, the leadership of the Democratic Party is, perplexingly, abandoning key constituencies of its base, including young people, women, and people of color, as well as the policies that fire them up. In chasing a narrow swath of white swing voters, the leadership has ignored a broader coalition of voters who have delivered blue victories time and time again. Not only that—at times, it’s actively antagonizing them. Even though the multiracial coalition that re-elected Obama in 2012 and stayed home in 2016 was large enough…


Virginia Shooter Attack Featured A Deadly New Twist

Suppressors are currently legal in 42 states and gun activists are pushing to deregulate them. By Matthew Chapman Raw Story (6/1/19) The shooting in Virginia Beach, in which a disgruntled city employee killed 12 people at a municipal building, is the deadliest mass shooting so far in 2019. But it is also “ominous” for one other unusual reason, wrote Harvard professor and former Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem in the Washington Post: the shooter used a suppressor, or as it’s known in common language, a silencer. “What ends lives? Gunfire. What saves lives? The sound of gunfire,” wrote Kayyem. “Gun violence in America…


Review: Michael Wolff’s ‘Siege’ Is Fire And Fury II

   ‘…just another scumbag’ By Lloyd Green The Guardian (6/2/19) Michael Wolff is back and not with a whimper. The latest installment of his Trump chronicles picks up where Fire and Fury ended. Once again, it leaves the president bruised and readers shaking their heads. Jared Kushner, Mike Pence, Don McGahn. None escape unscathed. As Wolff describes it, Donald Trump calls Kushner “a girl”. As for his vice-president, he’s a “religious nut”. “Why does he look at me like that?” Trump asks about Pence’s beatific gaze. As for Pence’s wife, Karen? “She really gives me the creeps.” Steve Bannon supplies a running commentary for which Wolff…


Russia Monitor: From Hidden Warship To Missing Republicans, Trump World Spins On

“An advance team is hundreds of people. The fact that some 23- or 24-year-old person on the advance team went to that site and said, ‘Oh my goodness, there’s the John McCain. We all know how the president feels about the former senator. Maybe that’s not the best backdrop. Could somebody look into moving it?’ That’s not an unreasonable thing to ask.” “Seriously?” (NBC Host) Chuck Todd asked. By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (6/3/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Acting White House Chief of Staff and Chief Sycophant Mick Mulvaney provides the perfect opening and question for how Dems will respond to…


Dare To Declare Capitalism Dead – Before It Takes Us All Down With It

“Perpetual growth on a finite planet leads inexorably to environmental calamity.”   By George Monbiot The Guardian (4/25/19) For most of my adult life I’ve railed against “corporate capitalism”, “consumer capitalism” and “crony capitalism”. It took me a long time to see that the problem is not the adjective but the noun. While some people have rejected capitalism gladly and swiftly, I’ve done so slowly and reluctantly. Part of the reason was that I could see no clear alternative: unlike some anti-capitalists, I have never been an enthusiast for state communism. I was also inhibited by its religious status. To…


A Stunning Parallel To The Fall Of Rome: How Our Tottering Republic Could Die In The Age Of Trump

He is our nation’s Augustus Caesar, the killer of a republic and the herald of a corrupt and collapsing empire.   By Thom Hartmann Independent Media Institute (5/20/19) The American republic could die, just like Rome. Wavering for some time on the verge of becoming a complete oligarchy, America is on the verge of flipping from a democratic republic to a strongman or autocratic form of government, something that’s happened to dozens of democracies in the past few decades, but never before here. It’s possible we won’t recover from it. The death of a republic is different from the death…


A ‘Crossroads Moment’ — Why Julian Assange Must Never Be Extradited

“The 18-count indictment is an authoritarian’s dream.” By Matt Taibbi Rolling Stone (5/31/19) WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange today sits in the Belmarsh High Security prison in southeast London. Not just for his sake but for everyone’s, we now have to hope he’s never moved from there to America. The United States filed charges against Assange early last month. The case seemed to have been designed to assuage fears that speech freedoms or the press were being targeted. That specific offense was “computer hacking conspiracy” from back in 2010. The “crime” was absurdly thin, a claim that Assange agreed (but failed, apparently) to try…


Democratic Party Of Wisconsin Announces New Leadership Team

Ben Wikler elected Chair of Party by delegates, Felesia Martin and Lee Snodgrass 1st Vice Chair and 2nd Vice Chair MADISON — The Democratic Party of Wisconsin is thrilled to announce that Ben Wikler, former Senior Advisor at MoveOn.org, has been elected Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin by DPW delegates. Felesia Martin and Lee Snodgrass have also been elected as 1st Vice Chair and 2nd Vice Chair, respectively. “I extend my enthusiastic congratulations to Ben and his team for their victory this weekend,” said Martha Laning, outgoing Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “I would also like to thank Rep….


‘Let’s Expand Employee Ownership’ — Bernie Sanders Backs Plan To Give Workers Power Over Corporate Decisions

  “Employee-owned companies will not provide starvation wages to workers and huge compensation packages to CEOs. They will not allow for unsafe working conditions.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/28/19) Decrying an economic status quo that “produces huge CEO bonuses while millions are paid starvation wages,” Sen. Bernie Sanders on Tuesday backed a pair of policies aimed at reducing soaring inequality by giving workers more power over corporate decision-making. According to the Washington Post‘s Jeff Stein—who first reported on Sanders’s plans—the Vermont senator is developing a proposal that would force large companies to “regularly contribute a portion of their stocks to a fund controlled…


‘This Is A Battle To The Death’: Self-Declared Prophet & Christian Author Says Trump Will Soon Execute His Political Enemies

By Kyle Mantyla Right Wing Watch (5/24/19) Dave Hayes, a self-declared prophet, Christian author, and online activist who is better known as the “Praying Medic,” streamed a video on Periscope last night in which he declared that President Trump’s political enemies—including Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and other supposed members of the “deep state”—will soon be swept up in mass arrests, tried, and executed for treason. Hayes is one of the leading proponents of the QAnon conspiracy theory, and his videos promoting and explaining QAnon’s cryptic postings have racked up hundreds of thousands of views on YouTube. “I’m here to tell you,” he said, “these people are going to face…


Author Michael Wolff Claims Bannon Described Trump Organization As ‘criminal enterprise’

“This is where it isn’t a witch hunt – even for the hard core, this is where he turns into just a crooked business guy, and one worth $50mn instead of $10bn. Not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag.” — Steve Bannon, former Trump adviser By Edward Helmore The Guardian (5/29/19) The former White House adviser Steve Bannon has described the Trump Organization as a criminal entity and predicted that investigations into the president’s finances will lead to his political downfall, when he is revealed to be “not the billionaire he said he was, just another scumbag”. The startling remarks…


Here’s Exactly Who’s Profiting From The War On Yemen

They’re working hand-in-glove with the State Department. By Alex Kane In These Times (5/20/19) PRIYANKA MOTAPARTHY, A RESEARCHER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH, arrived at a market in the Yemeni village of Mastaba on March 28, 2016, to find large craters, destroyed buildings, debris, shredded bits of clothing and small pieces of human bodies. Two weeks earlier, a warplane had bombed the market with two guided missiles. A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report says the missiles hit around noon on March 15, killing 97 civilians, including 25 children. “When the first strike came, the world was full of blood,” Mohammed Yehia Muzayid, a market…


SUCKERED! Study Proves Trump Tax Cuts Led To Virtually No Wage Growth & More Proof They Were ‘Designed To Put A Big Windfall In Oligarch Pockets’

“It’s done nothing to raise wages and flown right into corporate execs’ pockets.” By Jake Johnson Common Dreams (5/29/19) Despite lofty promises from President Donald Trump and the Republican Party, the $1.5 trillion in tax cuts that went into effect last year have done little—if anything—to raise workers’ wages, boost economic growth, or spur business investment. That’s according to a new analysis by the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service (CRS), which appeared to vindicate warnings from progressive critics that the GOP tax cuts were little more than a scam designed to put more money in the pockets of wealthy Americans. In its 23-page report (pdf), the independent…


Humanitarian Volunteer Provided Food & Water To Migrants In Arizona And Now Faces Up To 20 Years In Prison

  Democracy Now! (5/29/19) An Arizona humanitarian aid volunteer goes to trial today [5/29] for providing water, food, clean clothes and beds to two undocumented migrants crossing the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona. If convicted, Scott Warren could spend up to 20 years in prison. Warren, an activist with the Tucson-based No More Deaths, is charged with three felony counts of allegedly “harboring” undocumented immigrants. For years, No More Deaths and other humanitarian aid groups in southern Arizona have left water and food in the harsh Sonoran Desert, where the temperature often reaches three digits during summer, to help refugees…



Russia Monitor: Dept. Of Justice Yin Yang

“Trump getting impeached would ‘Make America Great Again’. — Actor Robert DeNiro ***** “…as set forth in the report, after that investigation, if we had confidence that the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.” — Former special counsel Robert Mueller (5/29/19) By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/30/19) Dear Fellow Readers, Trump Refuses to Act In Response To Concerted Russian Attack On Our Political System As former special counsel Robert Mueller is closing down his office he demonstrated the value of people hearing his findings in his own voice. It is not much of a…


Full Text Of The Mueller Reports Executive Summaries

  Lawfare (4/18/19) Editor’s Note: Below are the executive summaries of the two volumes of Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s final report. Volume I deals with links between Russia and the Trump campaign, while Volume II deals with potential obstruction of justice by President Trump. This article is available in audio format on the Lawfare Podcast. Link to Two Summaries and 53-Minute Audio


Matt Taibbi “Insane Clown President”

“The arc of the sort of failure of our business has really steepened in the last year or so. As news consumers people should pay more and more attention to independent media and alternative media, and worry more and more about the commercial media going forward.” By Mark L. Taylor The Commoner Call (5/30/19) Now well into Year III of the deadly serious non-stop, mind and soul-numbing Donald Trump National Freakshow it is hard to recall just how stunning his 2016 victory was. Right up to election eve every one was sure Hillary Clinton would wipe Trump off the map….


American Towns Under Crippling Cyberattack From A NSA-Built Software

PBS News Hour (5/26/19) Over the last few weeks, the city of Baltimore essentially went offline after a cyberattack was followed by a ransom demand that the city refused to pay. According to the New York Times, ‘EternalBlue’, the software that wreaked havoc in Baltimore and other cities, was actually created by the National Security Agency. New York Times reporter Scott Shane joins Hari Sreenivasan for more. Link to 5+-Minute Video (Commoner Call cartoon by Mark L. Taylor, 2018. Open source and free for non-derivative use with link to www.thecommonercall.org )


Notably Quotable: “Never underestimate the power of stupid people…”

“Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups.” — George Carlin ***** “Democrats who are reluctant to impeach might want to take note of the reaction from voters in Republican Justin Amash’s district.” — John Nichols, “Optimism is a political act. Those who benefit from the status quo are perfectly happy for us to think nothing is going to get any better. In fact, these days, cynicism is obedience.” — Alex Steffen, The Bright Green City ***** “The crusade for the unborn fires up Christian zealots and anti-abortion fanatics with righteous indignation that can lead to violence. It…


‘This Is About Attacking Journalism,’ Warn Press Freedom Defenders As Trump DOJ Hits Assange With New Espionage Charges

The Editor   By Jessica Corbett Common Dreams (5/21/19) In an unprecedented move that journalists and press freedom defenders denounced as “the most significant and terrifying threat to the First Amendment in the 21st century,” the Trump Justice Department announced Thursday that a federal grand jury charged WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange with 17 new counts of violating the Espionage Act. “This is about attacking journalism and the public’s right to information about war crimes done in their name with their dollars,” The Intercept‘s Jeremy Scahill said in a series of tweets. “This is about retaliation for publishing evidence of U.S. war crimes and other crimes by…


Sanders, Warren, Wyden Join Free Press Advocates In Denouncing Assange Prosecution As Grave Threat—But Others Are Mum

“Press freedom in the United States and around the world is imperiled by this prosecution.” By Eoin Higgins Common Dreams (5/24/19) Though many Democrats have so far remained silent, Sens. Elizabeth Warren, Ron Wyden, and Bernie Sanders are among the few high-profile party members to join free press advocates in condemning Espionage charges against Wikileaks publisher Julian Assange. The political and journalism worlds reacted to the Trump administration’s decision Thursday to charge Assange with 17 counts of violating the Espionage Act with concern for those celebrating the prosecution and dismay over those remaining silent on the issue. Assange was indicted by a federal…


Time Is Short: Yale Psychiatrist Explains Why ‘now it is time to act’ To Remove Trump From Office

  “His followers are of a similar psychology as Mr. Trump. People may try to disprove their accusations that others “are out to get us” by being exceptionally cautious—perhaps this was the special counsel’s intent when he would not make conclusions about obstruction of justice, despite the abounding evidence; perhaps this is the House speaker’s strategy in forestalling impeachment, hoping that the evidence will speak for itself. But this is misguided, since feelings of persecution will not diminish with evidence to the contrary. Rather, a long drawn-out process will encourage the sentiment that unceasing pressure, blockage, and criticism have rather…


It’s Time For The Democratic Party To Stand Up

How about the Democrats start showing leadership on principle to shape public opinion, rather than waiting passively for public opinion to move their way? By Miles Mogulescu Our Future.org (5/23/19) Trump ordering former White House lawyer Don McGahn not to appear before Congress, and McGahn not showing up, is just the latest example of House Democrats appearing to beg Big Daddy Trump for candy, just so he can slap their hands and say, “No Children! Go to your rooms.” Trump’s staged walkout from a meeting with Democratic lawmakers on infrastructure, followed by a Rose Garden temper tantrum, only accentuates this dynamic….


Read The GOP’s Secret Talking Points Defending Alabama’s Forced Pregnancy Law

The republicans speak! By Daniel Newhauser VICE News (5/23/19) WASHINGTON — In the days since Alabama’s passage of the most restrictive abortion law in the nation, national Republicans have tried to distance themselves from its most controversial provisions that would outlaw abortion even in the case of rape or incest. Now, there are clear signs that is changing. Secret talking points obtained by VICE News show national Republicans are preparing to defend the law, which has not yet taken effect, but will almost certainly be struck down by the courts. The law, which only allows abortions if a pregnancy poses a…


Memorial Day Belongs To The Real Patriots — The Foes Of Domestic Fascism.

Memorial Day was born in struggle against the Klan By Art Shields Peoples World (5/24/19) We must not forget that Memorial Day, which we celebrate on Monday, belongs to the foes of racism. The day people place flowers on the graves of fallen veterans was founded by the enemies of the Ku Klux Klan. Memorial Day belongs to the democratic traditions of the American people. It sprang out of the war against the hooded terrorists of the South who sought to re-establish slavery on American soil. American right-wingers and false patriots try to hide the real story of the birth…


Andrew Bacevich: ‘Honest & Heartfelt’ Shrine To America’s Useless Forever Wars Of Empire

  Where better to commemorate conflicts that Americans would like to ignore or forget than in a hollowing-out Midwestern town they never knew existed in the first place? By Andrew Bacevich Tom Dispatch (5/23/19) Earlier this month, I spent a day visiting Marseilles to videotape a documentary about recent American military history, specifically the ongoing wars that most of us prefer not to think about. Lest there be any confusion, let me be more specific. I am not referring to Marseilles (mar-SAY), France, that nation’s largest port and second largest city with a population approaching 900,000. No, my destination was Marseilles (mar-SAYLZ),…


Russia Monitor: The Stable Genius’ Crumbling Infrastructure

  By Dan Peak The Commoner Call (5/27/19) Dear Fellow Readers, A few truths! Trump is an existential threat; he’s like Voldemort through the arc of Harry Potter. He’s becoming more dangerous as we go forward. Ignore the problem at our own peril. Democrats will impeach Trump. Trump is an existential threat and either through their own deliberations or Trump’s authoritarian impulses, they’ll be forced to face their responsibility to indict and send a case to the Senate to act as the jury. Daily we see Trump adding to his own list of impeachable offenses by empowering his personal lawyer…


Why Did Deutsche Bank Keep Lending Billions To Donald Trump, Even After He Stiffed Them?

    Like Trump, Deutsche Bank has been scrutinized for its dealings in Russia. ProPublica / WNYC (5/22/19) Whispers of money laundering have swirled around Donald Trump’s businesses for years. One of his casinos, for example, was fined $10 million for not trying hard enough to prevent such machinations. Investors with shady financial histories sometimes popped up in his foreign ventures. And on Sunday, The New York Times reported that anti-money-laundering specialists at Deutsche Bank internally flagged multiple transactions by Trump companies as suspicious. (A spokesperson for the Trump Organization called the article “absolute nonsense.”) The remarkably troubled recent history of Deutsche Bank,…


Author Annie Jacobsen: Inside The CIA’s World Of Secret Wars In Our Name

No longer interested in peace. Preparing for the next war. [Editor’s Note: This is an essential interview for all American citizens to watch, to learn what is being done in our name and how the architecture for corporate forever wars is being welded into place. A sobering account of national insecurity. — Mark L. Taylor] Commonwealth Club (5/22/19) Annie Jacobsen is a Pulitzer Prize finalist and investigative journalist whose work revolves around government secrets. She has published books on a range of topics, including what really goes on inside Area 51; Operation Paperclip, which brought Nazi scientists to America; and…